I really wasn’t expecting much as I’m always wary of the ‘extras’ that are often just a waste of money, but this one surprised me.
The serrated edge was great at sawing through fine tree roots that tangled the trowel.
Some review images show it sawing through branches, but I feel this is a step too far. It took ages to cut a small branch and made a mess of it, but for fine tree roots it was excellent.
The pickaxe that I thought was a gimmick was actually really good at breaking up hard ground read for the dig. The handle was long enough to get good leverage and the padded non-slip grips did their job.
Grass is easy to dig over when the soil is damp, but when it bakes solid in the summer I think the pickaxe and hoe will be worth their weight in gold.
Once I’d slammed the pickaxe into the ground to break up the surface soil, I turned it around and used the spade head as a hoe to drag back the loose soil and stones. This saved me some hard work trying to drive a spade head into the unyielding ground.
The pouch is waterproof and it’s easy to wash out afterward because no end of mud attaches itself to a metal detecting spade!
I attached the pouch to a rig on my rucksack and because it only weighs 500 grams I barely noticed it there.
The only feature I didn’t use was the bottle opener, but I’ll be sure to remedy that in summer!
On the downside, the lock that keeps it upright in the shovel digging position doesn’t always hold and tends to collapse into the ‘pick axe’ form.
I asked my other half to tighten it assuming my grip wasn’t strong enough, and it improved somewhat, but still collapsed a few times in hard, dry soil.